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NCJ Number: 201474 Find in a Library
Title: We Need to Talk
Journal: Law Enforcement Technology  Volume:30  Issue:7  Dated:July 2003  Pages:56,58,61
Author(s): Donna Rogers
Date Published: July 2003
Page Count: 5
Type: Best Practice/State-of-the-Art Review
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article describes the efforts of the tri-State, metropolitan Washington, DC area to implement initiatives for interoperable radio systems.
Abstract: The author begins by recounting the 1987 Amtrak train disaster in Baltimore County, in which 16 people were killed and 184 were injured. Over 500 public safety personnel responded to the scene of the disaster, underscoring the importance of communication across jurisdictions and between public safety agencies. The metropolitan DC area presents unique challenges to interagency and cross-jurisdictional communication because of the high concentration of States, cities, and counties in the region. The AGILE program, under the funding of the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), is described as providing research, development, testing, and evaluation of interoperable radio systems capable of connecting public safety agencies. A key component of communications sharing involves the Gateway Subsystem, which provides direct connectivity between the Alexandria Police Department and departments with overlapping or adjacent jurisdictions, regardless of their different frequency bands. Another program, known as the Public Safety Wireless Network (PSWN) is described as a Federal initiative to promote effective public safety communications and to encourage the development of interoperability among Federal, State, local, and tribal authorities. Another Federal communications improvement initiative being implemented in the region is the CapWIN system (Capital Wireless Integrated Network), which was designed to link police, fire, medical, and transportation personnel, and Federal agencies to one another in real time. In conclusion, the author notes that in today’s environment, the need for public safety agencies to rapidly communicate is increasingly important to the safety of citizens.
Main Term(s): Data communications; Emergency communications; Interagency cooperation
Index Term(s): District of Columbia
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